As an entrepreneur, we are often told that there are heaps of grants out there that we can access. This is not always true, and for the ones that we are eligible for, it is often a complicated process to apply and secure the funds required to continue to grow and develop your business. Luckily, there are grant finders and other resources that can assist you to identify which grants you may be eligible to access.
In this blog, we’re unpacking what you need to know about applying for grants!
Why are grants so important for your business?
Given the cash flow difficulties faced by businesses throughout the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, grants and funding can be extremely beneficial in ensuring that your business can not only survive, but thrive. Both state and local governments have recognised the need for businesses to access professional support in order to stay in operation, and have provided funding to make it affordable for them to do so.
While not everyone who applies for a grant will be successful, the application process can help you to think about the big picture of where you want your business to go, and what resources or systems you need in order to grow. If successful, you’ll be able to access specific tools or training that you might not have otherwise afforded.
What types of grants are out there?
Firstly, it’s important to understand that many grants exist to help fill specific business gaps that may be missing for you. This could be around finance, digital marketing and IT, research and development, innovation, and sustainability (just to name a few). You won’t get funding just to run your business, you need a specific project in mind which aligns with available grants, such as developing a website, setting up an e-commerce store, or accessing additional training.
There are a range of websites and resources available to help you keep track of what’s out there, and we recommend discussing these with your local Gippsland business concierge.
Entrepreneurs can access their local business concierge, from each Gippsland government area – Latrobe City, Wellington, Baw Baw, Bass Coast, South Gippsland, and East Gippsland shires. The business concierges offer free, tailored support, and are able to connect you with information and services available to your business, including grants.
Here’s just some websites that may help you:
- Business Australia has a grant finder and other templates and tools that can help you through the application process. View the website here.
- Business Victoria has a grant finder and other templates and tools that can help you through the application process. View the website here.
- Latrobe City Council has a grant finder and other templates and tools that can help you through the application process. View the website here.
How to apply for grants
Applying for grants can be overwhelming, and there’s often a number of key selection criteria required for each.
We recommend that you keep a spreadsheet or document handy, which contains all the grants you wish to apply for, their closing date, and the criteria required. The most important thing to remember when applying for a grant is to address the key selection criteria outlined, as this will greatly enhance your chance of success!
You’ll often find that some key selection criteria is relevant across a number of different grants, such as your business plan, your financial summary and turnover, and your key outcomes and achievements to date. Grant applications can take time, so having this information in one central location, which can be tweaked and repurposed again and again, will help you immensely!
Latrobe City Council’s grant guru also allows you to track and monitor your grants.
We also recommend that you take time to do your research, to make sure the grants you’re applying for are relevant to your business. You can also learn a lot by looking at previous successful grant recipients.